Jump to content
BANGKOK
Snacks

Advice for crossing Thai-Laos Friendship bridge

Recommended Posts

I’ll be arriving in Vientiane (with a valid METV )at either 5:45pm or 10:45am... is it possible to cross the bridge at anytime before the bridge closes (says it closes at 10pm)?... can I hire a car at any hour or must I wait for certain scheduled buses for tourists wanting to enter Thailand? If I arrive at 5:45pm I’d prefer to cross asap and spend the night in Nong Kai or Udon. 

Thanks in advance for any tips, and I apologize if this is an extremely “newbie” topic 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The shuttle buses across the bridge operate until the bridge closes.

It is not normally a long wait for them after clearing Thai immigration. I would guess about 10 minutes at the most.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m crosssing FROM Laos TO Thailand .... is it the same? I.e. shuttle buses from Laos at all times?

thanks, and sorry if I wrote that confusing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is the same when crossing the bridge both ways.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you arrive by air at 5.45p.m. and want to spend the night in Nong Khai or Udon Thani I suggest you get a taxi direct from the Airport to the Laos side of the bridge and clear Immigration. You can either get the 20 Baht bus over the bridge to clear Immigration on the Thai side and then get a tuk tuk to a Hotel in Nong Khai. If you want to stay in Udon Thani you can get a taxi after clearing Lao Immigration (before the Bridge) that can take you to Udon Thani directly and also assist with clearing Immigration on the Thai side. You have plenty of time either way.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, HungDonger said:

If you arrive by air at 5.45p.m. and want to spend the night in Nong Khai or Udon Thani I suggest you get a taxi direct from the Airport to the Laos side of the bridge and clear Immigration. You can either get the 20 Baht bus over the bridge to clear Immigration on the Thai side and then get a tuk tuk to a Hotel in Nong Khai. If you want to stay in Udon Thani you can get a taxi after clearing Lao Immigration (before the Bridge) that can take you to Udon Thani directly and also assist with clearing Immigration on the Thai side. You have plenty of time either way.

Oh cool great advice! .. so you think taking a taxi from the Laos side would make immigration even less painless on the Thai side eh?.. I never considered that actually. I’m not anticipating any issues since I already have a valid METV and have never overstayed even once in all my 5 years in Thailand, but I’ll take any extra precaution even if it’s a minor one. Thanks again! 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you take a taxi/car from the Laos side the advantages are that 1/ You don't need to haul luggage in and out of buses as they remain in the car and 2/ the driver will walk you through the Immigration process. Usually quicker as cars have a different route through Immigration to those travelling by bus.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, HungDonger said:

If you take a taxi/car from the Laos side the advantages are that 1/ You don't need to haul luggage in and out of buses as they remain in the car and 2/ the driver will walk you through the Immigration process. Usually quicker as cars have a different route through Immigration to those travelling by bus.

Awesome! Do you think Laos Taxi drivers mind if I pay in Thai Baht?.. also, when I fly into Laos, can I pay for my Laotian visa with Thai baht? (I assume they don’t take credit card haha)

.. thanks again for helping a newbie  🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thai baht is accepted about everywhere or for about anything in Laos. For the visa on arrival it would be 1500 baht.

You can pay with a credit card if you apply for the Lao visa online. See: https://laoevisa.gov.la/index

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just did flew from Vietnam into Vientiane, Laos then bused over the border back into Thailand with METV. It is very smooth and chilled experience. Don't be concerned, just enjoy the travel.

 

Definitely get online visa for entering Laos, if you are from most western countries you can get a Visa on Arrival but we had to wait in line for about 90 minutes as the whole plane was processed. Those with online visa just walked through in seconds.

 

I got a taxi from Vientiane airport to the international bus depot, was less than 100 Thai Baht - paid at the airport counter. I used Thai Baht everywhere - never changed into any local currency.

 

International bus has 2 routes. A bus to Udon Thani every 2 to 3 hours. Or another bus that goes to Nong Khai only, which seemed to be more regular. As I arrived the Udon Thani bus had just left and there wasn't another for 2 or 3 hours so I jumped on the bus to Non Khai (takes 1 hour) Both buses are less than $2.

 

The border crossing is very easy. Everyone gets off bus at exit of Laos, goes through immigration and then gets back on same bus on other side. Just note who are your fellow passengers, and then follow them through. Same process when crossing into Thailand. The IO was superfriendly to everyone, cracking jokes at Thais and Farang expense when they had filled out the forms incorrectly, all in good fun. I can't imagine you will have any issue with an METV, this is not BKK or DMK . I have plenty of history on my second METV in 18 months and they are just not concerned with this issue (yet?).

 

One note. Once you get to Nong Khai bus depot and want to go to Udon Thani, just grab a minibus from the bus depot (a 1 hour trip). Basically minibus arrives, once is full, which in my case was about 20 minutes, then leaves. Then another minibus starts waiting. Cost was less than 50Thai Baht.

 

I apologize for not remembering the costs to the exact Baht, but any long trips that are less than $3 my brains can't process because it is ridiculously cheap.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, G950 said:

I just did flew from Vietnam into Vientiane, Laos then bused over the border back into Thailand with METV. It is very smooth and chilled experience. Don't be concerned, just enjoy the travel.

 

Definitely get online visa for entering Laos, if you are from most western countries you can get a Visa on Arrival but we had to wait in line for about 90 minutes as the whole plane was processed. Those with online visa just walked through in seconds.

 

I got a taxi from Vientiane airport to the international bus depot, was less than 100 Thai Baht - paid at the airport counter. I used Thai Baht everywhere - never changed into any local currency.

 

International bus has 2 routes. A bus to Udon Thani every 2 to 3 hours. Or another bus that goes to Nong Khai only, which seemed to be more regular. As I arrived the Udon Thani bus had just left and there wasn't another for 2 or 3 hours so I jumped on the bus to Non Khai (takes 1 hour) Both buses are less than $2.

 

The border crossing is very easy. Everyone gets off bus at exit of Laos, goes through immigration and then gets back on same bus on other side. Just note who are your fellow passengers, and then follow them through. Same process when crossing into Thailand. The IO was superfriendly to everyone, cracking jokes at Thais and Farang expense when they had filled out the forms incorrectly, all in good fun. I can't imagine you will have any issue with an METV, this is not BKK or DMK . I have plenty of history on my second METV in 18 months and they are just not concerned with this issue (yet?).

 

One note. Once you get to Nong Khai bus depot and want to go to Udon Thani, just grab a minibus from the bus depot (a 1 hour trip). Basically minibus arrives, once is full, which in my case was about 20 minutes, then leaves. Then another minibus starts waiting. Cost was less than 50Thai Baht.

 

I apologize for not remembering the costs to the exact Baht, but any long trips that are less than $3 my brains can't process because it is ridiculously cheap.

This is great info! I have a LOOOONG history of using METV... I’ve basically been in Thailand since Oct 2014 until now and only spent like an average of maybe 2 months outside of Thailand each year. I never got questioned at BKK (several times at DMK but nothing too harsh) until a month ago ... and it was harsh! But in the end they let me in after saying that I was no longer allowed to use tourist visas to come to Thailand (they also put an extra scare into me by saying that it was now noted in the computer system in case I ever tried to come back). Btw, I’ve never done visa on arrival in case anyone is wondering about that detail.

Thanks for all the advice people here have given me - I really appreciate  it 🙂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone had any issues purchasing the Laos visa online?.. I got all the way to the part where you purchase it w a credit card and then I got two emails confirming I’d submitted it. But then it just says “unpaid”... does it typically take a few days for them to confirm that my passport photo is legit etc?

Thanks in advance for any info 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One tip if you don't get an online visa due to the website not working. 

 

To get a visa on arrival you will need the small entry slip which is given to you on the plane. Plus, when you get off the plane you will need to fill out a full page visa on arrival application. Just grab the full page app from one of the little counter / stations and head straight to the right hand side of the terminal and queue up. Fill it out when waiting. 

 

Don't do what I did, in that is being one of the first off the plane and then stop at the counter and fill the whole form out only to join the queue when half of the plane had already passed me, cost me an hour in the queue.  

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally got tha Lao visa online. Turns out it works best w certain web browsers; I had to switch to Chrome. Visa all paid! 🙂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...